President Barack Obama has used his recess appointment powers to install Richard Cordray as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), effectively enabling the agency to monitor payday lenders, credit bureaus, and utilize all of the powers given to it under the Dodd-Frank law. Without a director at the helm, the agency was only able to monitor and enforce existing regulations on consumer financial products and not able to write new regulations for banking products. “Now, with a director, the CFPB can exercise its full authorities—with respect to both banks and nonbanks—to help those markets operate fairly, transparently, and competitively,” Cordray says. The CFPB had begun its mission by placing regulators in the largest banks to review mortgage lending and consumer banking fees, and the CFPB director can now influence banking policy as a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
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